This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

University Educational Leadership Program Coordinators' Perceptions of University-School District Partnership Development




Coleman, Lisa B.

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


This qualitative case study investigated the role of the university educational leadership coordinator in partnership development, the facilitating and hindering factors of partnership development, and the positive and negative outcomes of university-K–12 district partnership development. The voices from the 14 universities and 21 participants gave insight to the level of partnership development present at each of their representative universities. The framework utilized in this study measured the types of partnerships between external resource systems and school districts which was developed by Barnett et al. (2010). This framework provided an explanation of each type of partnership, the characteristics of each of the partnership model and the range by which partnerships develop. University-K–12 district partnerships are the fundamental link in improving leadership development for administrators and allows the university to remain current in meeting the needs of K–12 leaders. The university is responsible for developing the leaders in our schools, and if they are not current in research and practice, then they are not equipping those leaders to meet the needs of their students. My analysis uncovered that the university educational leadership program coordinator was responsible for developing university-K–12 partnerships. Factors which facilitated partnership success were mutual recognition of the value of partnerships, educational leadership program coordinators familiarity with K–12 and years of experience in the K–12 setting. Factors which hindered partnership development were the lack of financial support, changes in leadership, time and distance to develop partnerships, the lack of support from the university and university attitudes about partnership.